GPS_2019-Jul-04_HP-Install-John-Plumb-10 copy

Closed

3.7 – 27.7 2019

John Plumb:Liberating Colour

John Plumb:Liberating Colour

03.07 – 27.07.2019

Closed

Hours

Monday to Saturday

10:00 am – 5:30 pm

Gallery

3-5 Swallow Street,
London, W1B 4DE

Huxley-Parlour Gallery presented an exhibition of works by British artist John Plumb (1927-2008) in July 2019. Plumb is recognised as one of the most significant abstract artists working in post-war Britain. The works date from 1963 to 1977, and chart Plumb’s radical experiments with colour, chance and improvisation.

The work on display show the influence by American colour field paintings and they explore both planes of solid colour as well as geometry and optics. Plumb spent time in the USA, teaching briefly at the prestigious Bennington College, Vermont. He had affiliations with Barnett Newman, Mark Rothko and Ellsworth Kelly, and found commonalities with the American sense of scale and ambition. He assimilated the size as well as simplicity and directness of the New York School’s aesthetics into his own abstracted compositions.

The early 1970s saw Plumb engaging with improvisation techniques, laying linear grids across his canvases, arbitrarily masked off with tape, and applying paint in whichever random combination he found it on the shelf. The pictorial structures of his works were often also left to chance, with the width and frequency of line determined by the rolling of dice. The exhibition includes a number of his works made using variations of these innovative methods.

The Exhibition

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John Plumb

B. United Kingdom1927 – 2008

B. United Kingdom1927 – 2008

Biography

John Plumb is recognised as one of the most significant abstract artists working in post-war Britain. Inspired by American colour field painting, Plumb’s work’s are often large scale and explore both planes of solid colour as well as geometry and optics. Plumb’s compositions of the late 1960s were heavily influenced by American colour field paintings and during this time his works explored planes of solid colour as well as geometry and optics. Plumb found commonalities with the American sense of scale and ambition and assimilated the size as well as simplicity and directness of the New York School’s aesthetics into his own abstracted compositions.

The early 1970s saw Plumb continue to work on a large scale. The early part of the decade also saw him engaging with improvisation techniques, laying linear grids across his canvases, arbitrarily masked off with tape, and applying paint in random combinations, left entirely to chance. Plumb would put unmixed tubes of paint into unidentified boxes, so that he could take each at random, applying the colour directly to the canvas in the order that he found it on the shelf. The pictorial structures of his works were often also left to chance, with the width and frequency of line determined by the rolling of dice. Plumb worked on these paintings, which he variously called ladders, banners and steps, until 1976.

He showed work at the Artists’ International Association abstract exhibitions of 1953 and 1957 and the important Situation exhibitions of 1960 and 1961. Other subsequent exhibitions include British Painting 1974 at the Hayward Gallery and the Art & the ‘60s: This was Tomorrow at the Tate in 2004. His work is held in many public collections including those of Tate, London and The Arts Council Britain.

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